The Bahá’í Faith teaches that science and religion must be in agreement. Therefore, Bahá’ís look to both science and the Writings of The Bahá’í Faith in order to better understand the nature of addiction. Current science establishes that prolonged misuse of mind or mood-altering substances (including the misuse of both prescription and non-prescription drugs and/or behaviors such as gambling and pornography) cause imbalances in brain chemistry that can have long-lasting negative effects on our mental and physical health. The Bahá’í Faith teaches that we are primarily spiritual beings. It is through focusing on our spiritual nature (our relationship with God, and developing our spiritual attributes such as generosity and kindness) that allow individuals to positively affect the world of humanity and achieve individual well-being and happiness at the same time. As an addiction develops, we increasingly focus on the object of our addiction and true happiness and well-being become harder to obtain. Furthermore, focusing on our addictions causes us to develop such negative traits as selfishness and dishonesty and inadvertently hinders our own spiritual development. Subsequently, humanity as a whole is negatively affected. In order to reverse this process and overcome our addictions, Bahá’ís are encouraged to utilize both spiritual and therapeutic resources, such as prayer and 12-Step programs.
For those familiar with 12 Step Programs, here is a compilation that may be helpful to you:
This section of the website is dedicated to exploring addiction through the Writings of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith, as well as guidance from its institutions, which explore the spiritual nature of addiction, associated laws, and possible methods to assist in recovery.
“O BEFRIENDED STRANGER! The candle of thine heart is lighted by the hand of My power, quench it not with the contrary winds of self and passion. The healer of all thine ills is remembrance of Me, forget it not. Make My love thy treasure and cherish it even as thy very sight and life.” ~Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words
“O Divine Providence! Bestow Thou in all things purity and cleanliness upon the people of Bahá. Grant that they be freed from all defilement, and released from all addictions. Save them from committing any repugnant act, unbind them from the chains of every evil habit, that they may live pure and free, wholesome and cleanly, worthy to serve at Thy Sacred Threshold and fit to be related to their Lord. Deliver them from intoxicating drinks and tobacco, save them, rescue them, from this opium that bringeth on madness, suffer them to enjoy the sweet savours of holiness, that they may drink deep of the mystic cup of heavenly love and know the rapture of being drawn ever closer unto the Realm of the All-Glorious. For it is even as Thou hast said: ‘All that thou hast in thy cellar will not appease the thirst of my love — bring me, O cup-bearer, of the wine of the spirit a cup full as the sea!” ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 149-150
“O my Glorious Lord! Help me to refrain from every irregular inclination; to subdue every rebellious passion; to purify the motives of my conduct; to conform myself to that meekness which no provocation can ruffle; to that patience which no affliction can overwhelm; to that integrity which no self-interest can shake; that I may be qualified to serve Thee and to teach Thy Word. “ ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, English Sources and Authenticity of Fifteen Prayers in the Dutch Prayer Book, Bahá’í Gebeden by Universal House of Justice 2001-10-22
“Drink ye, O handmaidens of God, the Mystic Wine from the cup of My words. Cast away, then, from you that which your minds abhor, for it hath been forbidden unto you in His Tablets and His Scriptures. Beware lest ye barter away the River that is life indeed for that which the souls of the pure-hearted detest. Become ye intoxicated with the wine of the love of God, and not with that which deadeneth your minds, O ye that adore Him! Verily, it hath been forbidden unto every believer, whether man or woman. Thus hath the sun of My commandment shone forth above the horizon of My utterance, that the handmaidens who believe in Me may be illumined.” ~Baha’u’llah: quoted in “The Advent of Divine Justice” (Wilmette: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1984), p. 33